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UCU strikes again at Lambeth College - but end to dispute could be in sight

Members of the University and College Union at Lambeth College have started another indefinite strike in an ongoing row over new contracts.

UCU members walked out of lessons once more this morning, in the latest episode of a long-running campaign which has already led to five days of strikes this month. The union also took six days of action in December.

But an end to the dispute could be in sight. Lambeth College has made a revised offer to the union aimed at breaking the deadlock, which members will consider at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm.

The row centres on new contracts introduced for new staff last April, which UCU claims has produced a “two-tier system”.

Last June, UCU members walked out for five weeks over the issue, the longest strike in the union’s history.

UCU regional official Una O’Brien said: “Nobody wants to be on strike, but our members have been clear from the outset at how unhappy they were with the original contracts.

“We are pleased that there have been further improvements and we are recommending that members vote to accept the new deal when they meet on Wednesday.”

Although staff will remain on strike until Wednesday’s meeting, they could return to work on Thursday if the new plans are accepted.

In the meantime, the college will remain open to all learners and staff, and lessons will continue.

Mark Silverman, principal of Lambeth, said: “We have always been open to a reasonable resolution to the dispute which supports the improvement of teaching and learning, and assures our financial position. That is what the new contract has always aimed to achieve.

“We will continue to ensure that strike action does not impact on learners, and hopefully we can resolve this dispute soon. I hope that UCU will recognise it is in everybody’s interest to draw a line under this and move on.”


Related stories:

Lambeth College appeals to strikers as Ofsted calls – December 2014

Lambeth College to be hit by wave of strikes – November 2014

Striking staff 'determined to see college fail' claims principal – November 2014

Lambeth College row continues as UCU rejects new offer – October 2014

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